Do your children resist the homework and do you find yourself getting stressed?
Parental Stress & Homework don’t mix!
So often, Homework can become a battle – unnecessarily. Children enjoy learning, as long as there is no criticism, put down, judgement or feeling rejected. If the parent comes into the homework and is impatient and there is no fun (children learn best through play), the child will creatively try to avoid the homework.
Children go into Avoidance rather than feel criticised around homework
I remember clearly deciding that one of my children had a problem with tables & every day as we came in through the door I pounced on them ‘ well, lets do the Tables’ to which they replied that they had no tables, or the subsequent days. Children will do anything to avoid your harshness, criticism and my daughter was creatively gone into avoidance rather than sit at the table fearful of me finding fault with her.
What do you need when you are learning a new Task?
Think about the first time you sat behind the wheel and drove. My guess is you would have needed the following from whoever was teaching you:
- Encouragement and support
- Belief in your capability
- Time and for someone to show you who was calm and relaxed.
Parents need to focus on Effort not Performance when chilldren are learning
Children need exactly the same when they are learning and their greatest fear is you getting cross with them as they feel you do not love them. Remember, a test is simply a measure of their knowledge of a set of questions, it is not a measure of their intellect, your child needs you to communicate the following
‘You have vast capability & once you apply yourself; you can do almost anything’; in other words they need your belief in them.
Is is safe for your child to make a mistake?
Children have no issue with making mistakes, they know that mistakes are a part of learning. Therefore put the focus on Effort and not Performance with your child as when the focus is on Effort, children make more effort and do not operate from fear they they have to get it right. Every effort is an attainment on your childs part and they child needs to know that they are not a test/exam result, that you love them for themselves and not for what they do. Feeling loved for themselves frees them from fear of failure and they can operate from passion and not from dread/fear of failure.